Agra is a major tourist destination because of its many splendid Mughal-era buildings, most notably the Tāj Mahal and Agra Fort, both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
This grand edifice, built by Shah Jahan from 1631 to 1653 to enshrine the remains of his Queen Mumtaz Mahal, took 20,000 workers to build. The semi-translucent white marble is inlaid with thousands of semi-precious stones in beautiful patterns and the building has four identical facades, a perfect exercise in symmetry. It’s truly a wonder of the world!
The Agra Fort on the bank of the Yamuna River is another architectural wonder. This immense fort and palace were the seat of power for four generations of Mughal emperors; they ruled all of northern India from the early 16th century until the consolidation by British colonial rule in the early 1800s. Agra Fort’s architecture is a fusion between military might and lavish beauty.